Press releases

Legal & General partners with Edinburgh University to launch £20M research centre

Increasing life expectancy is to be celebrated, but it poses major challenges for individuals, families and the public and private sectors. Legal & General’s partnership with the University of Edinburgh aims to address these growing societal issues. Legal & General announces its long term partnership with the University of Edinburgh to establish the Advanced Care Research Centre (“ACRC”), the first of its kind in the UK. ACRC will offer a seven-year multi-disciplinary research programme designed to improve understanding of care in later life and to revolutionise how it is delivered.

27 Jan 2020

Full press release

ACRC’s vision is that its research can enable data-driven, personalised and affordable care that delivers independence, dignity and a high quality of life for people living in their own homes or in supported care environments. The University of Edinburgh’s grant-funded, academic-led ACRC programme will operate in the public interest, forming a major new strand in Legal & General’s drive towards Inclusive Capitalism.

The ACRC will work in partnership with other top tier universities to engage multiple public and private stakeholders, as well as individuals in later life, their families and communities. The ACRC will also include an Academy that will develop a new generation of enterprise-oriented leaders in later life care through a rigorous programme of cross-disciplinary research-based training. The partnership with Legal & General marks the University’s largest industry investment, as part of the £661m Data-Driven Innovation initiative within the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal. 

Our society is ageing. Today, there are more than 12 million over-65s in the UK and this figure is expected to increase by 50% over the next 20 years.  Life expectancy has increased, but living longer doesn’t currently mean living well. Recognising the issues impacting healthy ageing, Government has a stated aim to ensure that people enjoy on average five additional years of Healthy Life Expectancy by 2035.  In line with these objectives, the ACRC will bring an academic and research led focus to the understanding and delivery of appropriate care in later life.                                                                                                                           

ACRC will deliver a programme of seven thematic activities that combine research across multiple disciplines including: medicine and other care professions, life sciences, engineering, informatics, data and social sciences. This new research centre, which will receive £20m funding from Legal & General, will put the University of Edinburgh and its partners at the forefront of research, development and collaboration to improve the academic understanding of later life.  All research findings made during this partnership will be publicly available. 

As the UK’s largest pension fund investor with £1.2 trillion of assets under management, and a leading provider of longevity risk solutions and retirement products to millions of customers, Legal & General has deep insight into ageing populations. Changing demographics around ageing will have a crucial impact on Legal & General’s customers, making this one of the company’s long-term strategic growth drivers.

Legal & General works closely alongside and in support of UK academics, including through the Longevity Science Panel. In the last two years alone, it has formed the UK’s largest science and technology property partnership, Bruntwood SciTech, and announced a £4bn partnership with Oxford University to develop science and innovation districts within the region, together with homes for staff and students. Legal & General’s long term partnership with Newcastle Council and Newcastle University continues to deliver at pace. Its Newcastle Helix scheme, which houses the UK’s National Centre for Ageing, brings together innovators in improving quality of life as people age, alongside a major new hub for scientific research and technology.

Dr Nigel Wilson: "Establishing the ACRC will revolutionise the UK’s commitment to understanding and addressing the huge issue of demographic change – part of a global challenge with significant social and economic impacts. Edinburgh’s academic-led, data-based and cross-disciplinary approach will deliver vital positive change to ageing and care and we find this a compelling and practical vision. The partnerships we are forging with premier institutions up and down the country, from the University of Oxford and Newcastle, to Bath University, UCL and now Edinburgh will help shift the dial in the delivery of science, technology and ageing care for many future generations to come."
Professor Peter Mathieson: "We are delighted to host this ground-breaking collaboration with colleagues at Legal & General. This exceptional partnership will re-imagine care for the mid-21st century. As our population ages, so we need to develop innovative new approaches to provide individually-tailored care. This is the big challenge that the partners will address, bringing to bear pioneering research from the brightest academic minds across multiple disciplines to deliver creative and trusted solutions to address real world problems."

University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh is a world leader in informatics (data science, artificial intelligence, robotics, machine learning, natural language processing and related fields), medicine, engineering and social sciences. Recent £661m capital investment by UK and Scottish Governments, through the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal, has accelerated Edinburgh’s capacity to deliver trusted data-driven innovation across ten sectors, including health and social care, firmly grounded in interdisciplinary collaboration with industry and the public sector.  The ACRC has been influenced by the NCUB GVS report which highlighted the benefits to the economy of business and University partnerships.


ACRC Research

The research will address cross-cutting themes within which output-focused projects which will include:

  • A wide-range of public and stakeholder engagement activities to shape national debate on ageing, health and care, including building an improved understanding of the ageing individual in context;
  • Application of new data science methods to enable targeted interventions in later life, including better analysis and improved data for insight and prediction; and
  • Developing new models of care alongside investable and scalable technologies to support them.
  • Creation of an Academy, which will train a new generation of interdisciplinary leaders in later life care, with an associated entrepreneurial programme supported by Edinburgh Innovations, the University’s commercialisation service.


The Director for the Centre will be Professor Bruce Guthrie, Professor of General Practice and NHS Research Scotland Primary Care Research Champion.


Legal & General in later living

Through Guild Living and Inspired Villages, Legal & General is providing a genuine option for older people who wish to leave their family homes and live in a unique environment as part of a thriving community.  This provision has the potential to have a significant economic impact - both on the housing market and health sector.

  • Inspired Villages

Established in August 2017, Inspired Villages is a developer and operator of later living accommodation across the UK.

Inspired Villages was established to tackle the undersupply of age-specific housing – helping to address the spiralling health and social care spend which resulted from a lack of appropriate later living accommodation.

Inspired Villages currently has seven village schemes, and over the next ten years plans to delivering thousands of homes for more than 12,500 residents. An Inspired village is more than just bricks and mortar; it is an opportunity to provide our residents with a more mentally, physically and socially active lifestyle in an environment that supports it. 

  • Guild Living

Launched in 2019, Guild Living, Legal & General’s specialist urban later living developer and operator, aims to deliver over 3,000 new homes in the next five years to meet the UK’s longevity and urbanisation needs.

Guild Living is striving to make a real impact on the way we age in UK cities, combining beautiful architecture and interiors with ground breaking academically-accredited wellness programmes and activities, supporting happy and healthy ageing. It currently has three schemes under development in vibrant urban environments, delivering around 800 age-appropriate homes in areas with substantial local need.

Guild Living, has partnered with Bath University to develop a diverse range of research focused on healthy, independent living for older generations and how this can be adopted into the built environment through innovative architecture and design.

Further information

Harriet De Beaufort Suchlick

Harriet de Beaufort-Suchlick

Head of Corporate Communications

Legal & General Capital

Notes to editors

Established in 1836, Legal & General is one of the UK’s leading financial services groups and a major global investor, with £1.2 trillion in total assets under management (as at FY23) of which c40% (circa £0.5 trillion) is international.

We have a highly synergistic business model, which continues to drive strong returns. We are a leading international player in Institutional Retirement, in Retail Savings and Protection, and in both public and private markets through our Asset Management division. Across the Group, we are committed to responsible investing and dedicated to serving the long-term savings and investment needs of customers and society.

As at 7 June 2024, we estimate the Group’s Solvency II coverage ratio to be 224%.

As at 11 June 2024, Legal & General has a market capitalisation of £14.6 billion.

Legal & General Retail Retirement’s mission is to help its customers lead longer, healthier, happier lives. We believe everyone should be able to have a ‘more colourful retirement’. The Division comprises the Group’s retirement savings and income, later life lending and care solutions businesses. In 2020, LGRR wrote £910 million of annuity premiums and issued £791 million of lifetime and retirement interest only mortgages.

*at 31 Jun 2021